Prior to Julie purchasing it, the car had received a variety of upgrades and transformations. Manny Molina from SouthSide Car Club had given the car a frame-off restoration around 1998-99. Bell Auto Body of Santa Fe Springs, California took care of all of the metal work and sprayed a two-tone cream and butterscotch design on the Bel Air. Quality Metal Finishes of Anaheim, California, powdercoated the frame and suspension components. Freddie and John Kennedy from Bowtie took care of the interior and convertible-top duties. They covered the interior in cream colors, using 59 vinyl and 56 inserts. They also made sure the factory correct stitching and patterns were used.
Manny had Orange Engines in Orange, California, rebuild the stock Chevy 235 and three-speed transmission. He added a split manifold and dual exhaust. He completed the restoration by installing a rare Falsey continental kit, a GM spot light and fog lamps, bumper guards, and wrap-arounds on the exterior. Manny also added the Autronic Eye and Traffic Guide in the interior.
Manny showed the car a few times and then put it in storage. It was only after a chance occasion that he had pulled it out of storage to sell it, when Julie saw it at Bowtie. Even though she always wanted a Chevy Bomb, she was still slightly reluctant at first to buy the car. In the end, she couldn’t help but to envision her memory of Sally Struthers driving her Chevy Bomb out of Paramount Studios, and this gave her all the motivation she needed to close the deal.
She and Manny shook hands and she was now the proud owner of the Bel Air. The car was in excellent shape, even though it had been in storage for a number of years. Once she had it home, she had Noah from L.Duran of Azusa, California, do some minor touch-up work, while Jack and Buck of Advanced Muffler in Covina, California, went over it mechanically.
Julie now drives the car as much as possible, attending shows and cruising nights with her boyfriend. One of her favorite things to do is put the top down on the Bel Air and listen to old Blues like Jimmy Reid or Buster Brown belting out Fannie Mae while she cruises the streets of the San Gabriel Valley. We imagine at one time or another, a young lady has seen Julie cruising and commented to herself, I will have a Chevy Bomb someday. I guess, like they say, history repeats itself.
Owner: Julie Duran
Vehicle: 53 Chevy Bel Air
City/State: Azusa, California
Paint: Two-tone cream and butterscotch by Bell Auto Body of Santa Fe Springs, California. Touch up work by Noah from L.Duran of Azusa, California
Interior: Freddy and John Kennedy of Bowtie Connection in Torrance, California, installed a cream color interior with factory-correct stitching and patterns using 59 vinyl with 56 inserts.
Suspension: Stock suspension with powdercoated frame and suspension parts by Quality Metal Finishes of Anaheim, California.
Wheels: 15-inch Chevrolet factory wheels with Cross Bar hubcaps.
Tires: Firestone 5.60’s
Special Thanks: Manny Molina from SouthSide Car Club, Noah of L.Duran Azusa, California, Jack & Buck of Advanced Muffler Covina, California, for maintenance work.